japan's prime minister has paid his respect at an american ceremony. it comes 75 yea rs respect at an american ceremony. it comes 75 years afterjapan‘s bombing of pearl harbor. the attack drew the us into world war two. they have been tributes for fans and fellow artists after the death of george michael. andrew ridgeley said he was heartbroken at the loss of my beloved friend and sir eltonjohn bond beloved artist. and the remains ofa bond beloved artist. and the remains of a russian military plane is still being searched for. investigators are looking for the black box which could give them clues as to the cause of the crash. coming up next on bbc news, it is reporters. welcome to reporters.
i'm phillipa thomas here at the bbc‘s headquarters in london. in this special edition of the programme, we're looking at some of the best reports of this year from our network of correspondents from around the world. coming up: stand—off in the skies above the south china sea. rupert wingfield—hayes flies over one of the most contested areas in the world, incurring the wrath of the chinese. our captain is saying that we're a civilian aircraft, not a military aircraft, it didn't make any difference whatsoever, theyjust repeated the threat to leave the area over and over again. tiny victims of yemen's forgotten war. nawal al—maghafi finds starving children in desperate need of aid. he just had fever and diarrhoea and because they didn't have his medicine he passed away.
we've just arrived in what is called the prong zone. under fire on ukraine's frontline. tom burridge and his team meet one of the conflict‘s most volatile hotspots where the fragile ceasefire has collapsed. you can't make no mistakes, it cost you your life, literally. ian pannell reports from barack obama's former hometown and finds gun crime is out of control. and battle of the sexes. we meet the moroccan warrior women taking on and beating the berber men of north africa at their own game. the bbc went to extraordinary lengths this year to get a rare glimpse of china's determined expansion in the south china sea, one of the most contested areas anywhere in the world. beijing is building huge artificial islands on the spratly island chain, which the americans and others insist are illegal.
the area is difficult to get to, but rupert wingfield—hayes flew in a small civilian aircraft into china's self—declared security zone 200 kilometres off the coast of the philippines. this is what he found. it's just before dawn on the philippine island of palawan. even at this hour it's hot, but there's no sign here of the trouble brewing a few hundred miles out to sea. i'm about to take off on a trip the chinese government has tried to stop. as we roll down the runway, we're all tense. no one has tried what we're about to do. we're now heading south—west to wards and number of chinese—controlled atolls. these are places where the chinese have being doing massive land
reclamation over the last year and a half. we really want to go for two reasons. one, to see exactly what the chinese are doing, and two, to test to see if the chinese would try to stop us because the whole of this area is, according to most countries, international airspace. just 140 nautical miles from the philippine coast we spot new land. this place is called mischief reef. until a year ago there was nothing here, just a submerged atoll. now look at it. millions of tons of material have been dredged up to build this huge new island. then as we close to 12 nautical miles, this. down below we can see a pair of chinese navy ships.
our pilots are nervous. they want to turn away. we're a civilian aircraft flying over international waters and yet we're being repeatedly threatened. so what we're getting is the chinese sending out that message, foreign military aircraft, unidentified military aircraft, leave the area immediately. in chinese and english, our captain replied saying we are a civilian aircraft, not a military aircraft, but it didn't make any difference, they repeated the threat to leave the area over and over again. as we fly on the full extent of the construction is revealed. the lagoon is teeming with ships. a cement plant is visible on the new land. then for the first time a clear view of the new runway china
is building here. a chinese fighter taking off from here could reach the philippine coast in nine minutes. in the last year, china has built at least seven new islands and three new runways in the south china sea. one here at mischief reef, another at subi reef and the biggest of all at fiery cross. the aim is to reinforce china's claim to the whole of the south china sea. america and its allies are now responding. and over the radio we now hear one of them. what we're hearing is an australian military aircraft asserting freedom of passage. more than 40% of the world's trade passes through the waters below us.
china is determined to assert its control. america and its allies say they won't let that happen. and as we have found out, it may already be too late. rupert wingfield—hayes, bbc news, in the south china sea. from the conflict in syria to what's seen as the forgotten war in yemen. the fighting there has pushed one of the poorest countries in the middle east to the brink of famine, threatening the lives of millions of people. more than 7,000 have been killed in the conflict between the country's houthi rebels, who overthrew the government last year, and a saudi—led coalition backed by britain and the us. this has left around 7 million people on the brink of famine, many of them children. and again a warning, nawal al—maghafi's report contains some distressing
images from the start. in the villages of the yemen, it's the children who suffer most. wherever you go you can see the human cost of this war. seven—month—old fatima is weak and severely malnourished. she's one of hundreds in this area alone. her mother, sara, tells me she won't stop crying. it breaks my heart, she says. the only thing sara can offer her child is water. she's so malnourished herself she's unable to breastfeed. this doctor took me from village to village and each time we saw the same thing. yemen has always been desperately poor but the war has made things worse.
it's notjust the villages that are struggling. this war has forced 600 hospitals to close down and lack of supplies has pushed this central hospital to the brink. children are the most affected by malnutrition. here, hunger has left 1.5 million children starving. this is four—year—old chaim. his grandfather brought him here with fever and diarrhoea. malnutrition has meant his immune system isn't able to fight a simple infection and severe shortage of medicine means the antibiotic he needs isn't available either. translation: the antibiotics we have will not treat the type of bacteria that he is suffering from. all we can do is provide healthcare
with the supplies that we have. the hospital is overwhelmed with children, but in some cases malnutrition has turned into outright starvation. saleen is eight years old. once able to play and talk with his brothers and sisters, his mother says although he's alive it's as if he's not here. translation: i never imagined i would ever see a child like this in yemen. this boy is starving. it scares me that it may be the beginning of a famine. four—year—old chaim's grandfather tells me his condition has taken a turn for the worst. he just had fever and diarrhoea
and because they didn't have his medicine he passed away. back in the village, ashwaq has some good news. after six days of phonecalls and negotiations, ashwaq managed to import his life—saving milk. translation: you've made me so happy and filled our home with happiness. i hope i can do the same for you. poverty has always affected yemen, but now there's the risk of losing an entire generation. nawal al—maghafi, bbc news, hudaydah, yemen. from yemen's forgotten war to what's
become known as europe's forgotten conflict in ukraine. tensions escalated there this year as europe struggled over whether to maintain sanctions on russia following its military intervention in the region. at the height of the crisis, tom burridge and his team travelled with the ukrainian military to one of the most volatile parts of the front line, on the edge of the town of avdiivka. he sent us this report. venture into this industrial area known as the prong zone on the edge of a small ukrainian city and this is the reality almost every night. it's really close. go to the wall. we've literally just arrived in what's called the prong zone and you can tell why they call it hot, because it's really... we need to go to the building. this perpetual war zone has been largely forgotten. after two and a bit years and countless diplomatic meetings, russia and the west have
failed to deliver peace. lethal warfare here sometimes feels mundane and monotonous. so five, maybe ten minutes after we arrived here in the so—called prong zone and sniper fire, the crack of machine—guns, that the soldiers say are probably rpgs, rocket propelled grenades, essentially it's welcome to the prong zone. so we're changing positions now. our walk through the industrial zone feels like it will never end. he chooses to walk but i would prefer to run right now, we're right in the open. we made it! that was intense! we reach a building where we will spend the night. fighting these ukrainian troops
is a militia which controls two tiny unrecognised russian backed republics. 21—year—old dima says he will die for land which he says is part of ukraine. the next day, on a hillside nearby, we are shown the ukrainian military defences. this impressive network of trenches shows how ukraine has been digging in for months. they country has not lost territory to the rebels in well over a year.
and for that, ukrain can claim some success. but any success has come at a cost. eastern ukraine is a deprived region. you can see bitter divisions. the conflict has become one of attrition which world powers have been unable or unwilling to end. tom burridge, bbc news in avdiivka, eastern ukraine. now to evidence of a startling rise in gun violence the us, including in president obama's political home, chicago. killings in the city have reached a 20—year high. a deadly summer of violence brought this year's death toll to 500.
most of the victims and their killers were young men. ian pannell and cameraman darren conway spent a week in chicago and found a world where gangs and guns rule. here in my neighbourhood, they start young. when you hear the news, that's the age frame, they're all dying from guns and violence. we have to teach children how to defend themselves. it's senseless violence at the end of the day but what do you do when you're caught in that moment, you'd rather be caught with protection than without protection. i have never seen so many gui'is. like, we have so many guns. but i have never seen as many as now. this is a rapper from the west side, now, the most violent part of chicago. he is a member of the vice lords gang. he has been imprisoned. and even he is shocked by what has happened. it is like somebody dropped off crazy amounts of guns
in everybody hood. it's like they're designed to lose. i think that many guys need to die to make it better. some of these guys need to be killed and knocked off to make it a better place. sirens we have been standing here forfive minutes and i have seen two police cars and one ambulance go by. it is not safe here at all. suddenly we were told to leave the area, as he and his gang sped off. phone call: what happened? why did we have to leave? more people have been killed here since 2001 than us deaths in iraq and afghanistan combined. and yet, there is almost no outcry. do you worry about your children?
i do. like, to be honest, i have a son of seven and a daughter of four, and i have not taught them how to ride a bike because the environment they live in is just not safe. i love you. i love you, dadda. i am trying to change the cycle. it's hard when you don't really have help, you know what i'm saying? we have been put in a weird position, you know what i'm saying, because... hold on. cut. this stuff don't end. this is a never—ending cycle, man!
we're just humans! with so many guns and so little control, the murders will rise. rarely solved, and barely noticed. this may sound like the stuff of science fiction movies, but american researchers broke new ground this year by trying to grow human organs inside pigs. the research uses a pioneering technique called gene editing, which allows dna to be altered simply and quickly. some say this may end the organ transplant crisis. but as fergus walsh investigates, it may also raise ethical issues.
you are watching two species being mixed. humans themselves are being injected into a one—day—old pig embryo. you can see them travelling down the tube. this biologist in california is trying to grow a human pancreas inside a pig. our hope is that this pig embryp will develop normally. but the pancreas will be made up almost exclusively out of human cells so that then that pancreas will be compatible with the patient for transplantation. the technique is known as gene editing. it uses molecular scissors to delete the dna instructions in the pig embryo to create a pancreas. the ambition is the human cells will fill the void and grow a human pancreas instead. the same technique might enable other organs to be grown for transplant. the bbc‘s panorama was allowed to film the sows filled with human embryos known as chimeras. if human stem cells were taken
from a patient, the transplant organs could be tissue matched, reducing the risk of rejection. this research raises profound ethical concerns. crucially, just how human and the piglets developing inside this sow? it's such a sensitive area that the chimeric embryos will not be permitted to go to term, but be removed for tissue analysis after 28 days' gestation when they are about a centimetre long. they will crucially check whether the pigs developing brain develops humanlike qualities. another pioneer in this field told me this question has yet to be resolved. with every organ we try to make, be it kidney, liver, lung, we will look at what is happening in the rain. and if we find it is too humanlike, it will be ended.
organisations campaigning for an end to factory farming are dismayed by the image of organ farming. i'm nervous about opening up a new source of animal suffering. let's first get a new level of people donating. we could consider it, but the basis has to be that there is no overall increase of pigs being used for human services. for human purposes. 7,000 people are on the transplant waiting list in the uk and hundreds die each year before a donor can be found. but patient trials involving gene edited pig organs are still a long way off. fergus walsh, bbc news. finally, for centuries, the men have proven their worth finally, for centuries, the berber men have proven their worth in fantasia, a moroccan tradition, riding horses and firing their rifles in unison. for the first time, female riders have been taking them on. we have been to meet the moroccan
women warriors beating the man at their own game. fantasia, a centuries' old moroccan tradition, a way for men to show off their warfare and masculinity. but in recent years, more women riders are taking the reins. this is the leader of an all—female troop. and today, the only woman competing in this region of fantasia. how different do you feel the image is to what people think a normal arab or moroccan girl should be? did you not think maybe you cannot do it because no other girl has
yeah, of course, for good luck. i am nervous and my heart is beating. the aim is for the teams to charge and shoot simultaneously. the winners are announced and the girls won! bbc news, morocco. and that is all from this special edition of reporters looking back at some of the best reports from this year. from me, phillipa thomas, goodbye for now. hello there. after the fairly windy spell of weather that many saw over the festive period, things are turning colder and much quieter.
here's the scene in highland scotland on monday, some snow over higher ground. some sunshine to see out boxing day too across the isle of wight. high pressure is dominating the weather for everyone as we head through the day on tuesday. the isobars fairly widely spaced for the most part, much less windy than in recent days. frost and fog patches around especially in england and wales, further north, more cloud and breeze around. looking around the country at 9am, across the bulk of england and wales, a fine start to the day. a bit chilly, the coldest night we have seen in a little while, some frost around and a few mist and fog patches. further north across northern england and northern ireland, more cloud and again a chilly start to the day, some isolated showers in the far north—west of scotland, perhaps some rain for a time towards the northern isles but that should clear then looking dry across—the—board on tuesday. a really decent day for heading out into the countryside for a walk,
lots of sunshine on offer, some patchy cloud here and there and in a few places the mist and fog will be slow to clear. so colder than we've seen recently, highs between 6—8. tuesday evening looks a bit chilly but clear and dry. the main problem will be mist and fog building once again. as we head into the middle part of the week, high pressure stays with us across the country and with those light winds and relatively clear skies, i think we will wake up to scenes like this. locally some dense patches of fog around, especially on wednesday onwards, through the rest of the week it will cause some disruption. if you have travel plans by air or road it could be a foggy picture by the time we get to wednesday, particularly across england and wales. less fogg in scotland and northern ireland, more breeze and cloud around here. plenty of sunshine on offer by the afternoon. temperatures between 3—9. where the fog lingers in a few pockets it will be pretty cold and grey for much of
the day on wednesday. where the fog clears, some glorious spells of sunshine. into the latter part of the week, a weather front to the far north—west of scotland, a bit breezy here and perhaps rain later on on thursday but it is high pressure dominating really. looking ahead to thursday and friday, things are mainly dry, there will be variable amounts of cloud but watch out for the potential for some mist and dense fog around too. bye for now. welcome to bbc news. i'm mike embley. our top stories: bugle sounds japan's prime minister pays his respects at an american military ceremony as his historic visit to hawaii gets under way, 75 years afterjapan's bombing of pearl harbor drew the us into world war ii. dozens of ships are still searching for remains of a russian military plane that crashed into the black sea on sunday with 92 people on board.
time's running out fast for the cheetah. urgent action is needed to save the world's fastest land animal from the brink of extinction. and tributes continue to pour in from fans and fellow artists alike for george michael following his death at the age of 53. the singer's partner says he will never stop missing him.